Centerworks Blog

Oh My Inner Thighs!

5 Reasons to Find, Feel and Use Your Inner Thigh Muscles for Healthy Movement Habits

StretchingI picked this title as a topic months ago, and then just a couple of weeks ago offered a “Stretch Class” in the studio that I haven’t taught for about 10 years!  It’s been interesting to see and hear my client’s reactions to the parts of their bodies they found and felt in a different way after an hour of active stretching vs. the full range of motion work and release that “stretches” the body during a Pilates workout.

Our bodies were made to move.  It’s move it or lose it!

So, the question is – how much are you moving, and how well are your muscles working to keep you healthy?

Every muscle in our body needs to have an adequate amount of both strength and flexibility to function well.  When we think about targeting the thighs most of the attention gets placed on the Quads (along the front of the thigh), and the Hamstrings (along the back of the thigh) since these two muscles groups are needed to bend and straighten the knees, help us stand up and sit down, climb stairs, etc…

And from there it’s usually, “I want to tone my hips.”  Or “I want a better looking, tighter behind.”  So we start focusing on exercises to work the Glutes and outer thighs, and sometimes forget completely about what’s going on with those sexy upper inner thighs!

But a body in balance for healthy movement habits needs the benefit of strong, fit, and flexible inner thigh muscles too!  How much love and attention are you giving to your upper, inner thighs?

As I’m working with new clients it’s almost shocking how little muscle activity is happening with these muscles!   For many people the inner thigh muscles are both weak, and tight (yes, it’s possible.)  What does this affect?  Restricted hip mobility, tight hamstrings, poor leg alignment, and additional stress, (wear-and-tear, pressure, and pain) at the knee joints, and if the knees don’t hurt, there’s a really good chance that the lower back does!

Above or below the weak, tight, inner thighs there is increased risk for pain, injury, and problems.  Rather than engage the full length of the muscle, the tendency is to squeeze at the knees, which only places more stress on the already stressed-out knee joints.

Here Are 5 Reasons To Being Sure You’re Finding, Feeling, and Using these Very Important Inner Thigh Muscles During Your Pilates Workouts, In Yoga Class, To Walk, Run, and Lift Weights, While Participating in Sports, and All Your Daily Life Activities:

1. IMPROVE BALANCE – The inner thighs are an important part of the leg to help find your center for stability and balance.  Not only do the inner thigh muscles assist in leg tracking from the hip for an efficient leg swing for gait, but this support also helps us balance on one leg, assists in stability of the thigh so the knees can bend and straighten without pain, and they assist with movement and support for lateral (side to side) motion for sports like basketball, tennis, and racquetball.

2.  HEALTHY HIP MECHANICS – The inner thighs assist with stabilizing the leg to swing forward and back for a healthy stride to walk and run.  They also are critical for support and movement for lateral (side-to-side) movement.  Sports like basketball, tennis,  racquetball, and horseback riding would be impossible without strong inner thighs.

3.  PAIN-FREE KNEES – The balance of support between the inner thighs and outer hip muscles is what helps stabilizes the leg for healthy, pain-free movement at the knee.  The knee joint can only flex and extend, but the leg can move in all directions from the hip.  Without adequate support on the inside and outside of the thigh the risk of a medial or lateral knee injury (pain) increases.

4.  BETTER ANKLE MOBILITY – Stiff ankles, tight calves, heel pain…a contributing factor can be what’s happening at the other end of the leg.  Your inner thighs are every bit as important as what’s happening at your feet, (and in fact, they contribute to how you might be standing – rolling in or out at the ankle.) With the right amount of both support and flexibility at the hip-end of the leg with the inner thighs, you can help improve posture, reduce foot pain, and keep your ankles healthy with better mobility to avoid sprains & strains, Achilles tendonitis, and other debilitating foot, knee, and hip problems..

5.  ENJOY MORE CORE SUPPORT – Of course your inner thighs aren’t a part of your core…BUT, what they are doing (or not doing) can dramatically affect how well you are able to maintain good posture and enjoy healthy movement habits.  For a strong well-lifted core, good inner thigh support along with the pelvic floor, is an important foundation for proper pelvic placement and a healthy, well-aligned spine.

Just knowing the inner thighs should be working for you won’t get them turned on and working…There are many finer-details for activating these muscles for proper support, and learning how to incorporate the work/release action of these muscles into your workouts for healthy movement habits.

Finding the right muscle to know you’re engaging your inner thighs is the first step.

Understanding how to use the inner thighs properly along with the rest of the body to improve balance, healthy hip mechanics, pain-free knees, better ankle mobility, and more core support is a part of the process of deepening your mind-body connection, understanding the value of better body mechanics for healthy pain-free movement, and having the right tools and exercises in your weekly workouts to re-train your body for better posture and healthy movement habits.  Is it time for you to find, feel, and focus on your inner thighs?

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Are you ready to get started and fine-tune your fitness to look good and feel great?  For a limited time, we are excited to offer you the opportunity to apply for a complimentary Healthy Movement Habits Strategy Session, with Aliesa George, PMA-CPT.  Discover what your biggest challenges are for a healthy, active, pain-free life, and what you can do to take control of your mind, body, and movement habits to achieve wellness success.  Due to the limited number of appointments available, we request that only serious applicants apply.  If you are ready to do what it takes to dramatically improve your health & fitness apply now for your complimentary call with Aliesa.  Click here now to apply by filling out a brief Health Assessment survey.   The more thorough you are with your responses to this survey, the better we can serve you.

Posted by Aliesa George in Flexibility & Stretching, Functional Movement and tagged , , , , .

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